MAT Leadership Programme: Driving Improvement through Teams

Tuesday 30 Apr 2019

Welcome to the MAT Leadership Programme

Creating, growing and sustaining a successful multi-academy trust requires more than just a strong leader - it requires a strong leadership team.

The MAT Leadership Programme will provide you and your team with the knowledge and support needed to drive strategic and cultural change in order to improve educational outcomes across your MAT.

The emphasis of the programme is on 'group-based learning' with the opportunity to mix professional development for yourself with strategic development for your trust.

The programme is structured via a series of 6 one-day modules spread between September 2018 and April 2019. Information on each module (including location, times and course leaders) can be found on the individual module pages. Each module will have some small tasks to complete before the day. Please access these via the 'Resources' page.

MATs Summit

Free (non-compulsory) attendance at the Optimus Education MATs Summit in October is also included in the programme. This two-day residential with an overnight stay will give you access to high-quality CPD on issues relevant to MAT leaders, whilst also providing opportunities for you to get to know and build relationships with other leaders within your cohort. A drinks reception and gala dinner is included on the Thursday evening. You will be automatically enrolled for the Summit and overnight accommodation booked for you. For more information on the MATs Summit programme, please visit

Registration for the 2018/19 cohort has closed, however, you can register your interest for the 2019/20 cohort.

The module leaders

Andy Samways is a member of the Executive Team of the Unity Schools Partnership, a multi academy trust currently comprising 22 primary, secondary and special schools located in the east of England. Andy is Director of Research School and Teaching School. Andy has extensive experience of school and system leadership gained from senior leadership in secondary schools over the past 20 years and most recently through his work as Teaching School Council EENEL Local Lead for Suffolk, and through leading the Research School. These roles are increasingly drawing on the need to establish effective collaboration and partnership working within evidence-based school improvement activity in a variety of scales and contexts. Leading the work of one of the EEF/IEE Research Schools, Andy has a particular interest in the relational aspects of network growth, as well as utilising the underpinning evidence around effective implementation at a variety of scales (from classroom to region) within the school improvement cycle.

Tim MCarthy has been CEO for Aurora Academies Trust (AAT) since July 2012. Aurora started out with four very dysfunctional and poorly performing primary schools but by 2016, they became the number one performing MAT that operates primary schools solely in the SESL region for progress in reading, and also the number two MAT for maths progress. Tim has worked in education for 36 years and was one of the first 50 academy principals in the country. He has exceptional experience of school improvement through working as a Headteacher in a Local Authority school, in an academy and running groups of schools internationally and in the UK. Three years ago Tim participated on a MAT Leaders course and used that opportunity to work closely with other CEO colleagues in order to devise a different governance structure and revised financial systems necessary for Aurora to grow. He is looking forward to share these experiences throughout the course!

Professor Chris Ivory is the Director of the Innovative Management Practice (IMPACT) Research Centre at Anglia Ruskin University. Before joining Anglia Ruskin University, Chris was a Senior Lecturer at The University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Business School. He holds a PhD and MSc from PREST (Policy Research into Engineering, Science and Technology), part of Manchester University. Chris has also been a Research Associate in the Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies, Newcastle University and before that at CROMTEC at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST). Chris also has extensive experience of teaching and leading modules for MBAs, Executive MBAs, postgraduate and undergraduate programmes. Chris is presently an external examiner for the Global MBA at Manchester University. Previously he has been the external examiner for Leeds University UG programmes and Masters programmes at Manchester University.

Note: The MAT Leadership Programme is not included in the Premium Plus and Unlimited membership packages.